7 Coolest Hostels in London

London hostel dorm room

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London has a fantastic hostel scene. Whether you’re travelling on a budget and need somewhere affordable to stay, or you’re looking for a social party hostel to meet new friends and have a good time, there’s a great London hostel for you.

Below are 7 of my favourite hostels in London…

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Why trust me?

The first thing you might be asking here is what makes me, a native Londoner, the person to tell you about the best hostels in London? Well…

1) London is a huge city, and even when I lived in the capital full-time, I would sometimes stay in hostels for conferences and late events to avoid long commutes back and forth.

2) I’ve been living nomadically for the last few years now, and when I return to London, I often stay in hotels and hostels.

So from me, you get a local’s intimate knowledge of the city, combined with a first-hand hostel-goers experience!

Clink78 Hostel

Clink Hostel in London, two guys with guitars on large red sofa in historic building
Photo credit: Clink Hostels

Clink78 is currently undergoing some renovations but reopens in Spring 2022.

Clink78 is a trendy London hostel located inside a former Victorian courthouse and prison.

The grand English Heritage building has been updated with a bold and colourful interior design but still retains many of its original courthouse features. Clink is sure to be one of the most unique and extravagant hostels you’ve ever stayed at.

At Clink78, you can sleep inside one of the cells where the accused were kept before their trial, or watch a movie in one of the original courtrooms where London’s criminals were prosecuted for over 200 years.

The unusual London hostel also has an on-site bar called the Clash Bar. The bar is named after the famous punk band who were fined in the courthouse in 1978 for shooting some expensive racing pigeons.

The lively hostel bar is a great place to meet other travellers. It runs a busy schedule of events each week, including pool tournaments, quiz nights, karaoke, live DJs, and free gigs by emerging artists.

You can also check out the brand’s sister hostel Clink261 in Kings Cross.

Clink78 Hostel London at a glance:

  • Location: Islington
  • Dorm sizes: tbc
  • Female-only forms: Yes
  • Private rooms: Yes
  • Free daily London walking tour for guests
  • TV lounge and computer room
  • Basement bar with live DJs and music, a pool table and table football, and regular events

See availability and book here.

Wombats City Hostel

Wombats City Hostel is one of my favourite affordable hostels in London, and somewhere I’ve personally stayed numerous times for events and conferences in the East End.

The social hostel features clean and spacious dorm rooms with ensuite bathrooms, several cosy common areas for hanging out and meeting new friends or getting some work done, and an outdoor terrace with hammocks. There’s also a fully-equipped guest kitchen with a free food section, including free noodles and rice.

Downstairs, you’ll find the large WomBar, serving affordable drinks, cocktails and bar snacks. The lively hostel bar has a pool table, table football, and ping pong table and hosts regular parties and events throughout the week.

Wombats City Hostel at a glance:

  • Location: Tower Hamlets
  • Dorm sizes: 4-8 beds
  • Female-only forms: Yes
  • Private rooms: Yes
  • Great location close to Tower Bridge and Tower of London
  • Indoor and outdoor common areas with tables, sofas, daybeds and hammocks
  • Social basement bar with regular parties and fun events

See availability and book here.

St Christopher’s Inn Village Hostel

London Capsule Hostel
Photo credit: St Christophers

Looking for a cool and affordable hostel in London but still like to have your own space? Look no further. St Christopher’s Inn Village Hostel in London Bridge is now home to the UK’s very first capsule rooms.

A concept made popular in Japan, St Christopher’s capsules are tiny pod rooms kitted out with USB ports, mood lighting and curtains for ultimate privacy. Bathrooms and living spaces are shared with other guests.

St Christopher’s Inn Village also has private and regular dorm rooms if the capsules aren’t your thing. The London hostel’s 33-bed dorm is one of the largest dorm rooms in the capital. That’s a lot of people in one room, but it’s a sure-fire way to meet new friends!

Located in London Bridge, close to the Shard and Borough Market, the hostel is super social and has a communal TV lounge, roof terrace, restaurant, and bar with karaoke nights, fancy-dress, and live music.

While London Bridge is their biggest and most popular hostel, St Christopher’s has eight locations in London, including Greenwich, Camden, Liverpool Street, Hammersmith, and Shepherd’s Bush. There’s also an entire female-only hostel area at their London Bridge location.

St Christopher’s Inn Hostel London Bridge at a glance:

  • Location: London Bridge
  • Dorm sizes: 4 to 33 beds
  • Private rooms: Yes
  • Female-only dorms: Yes
  • UK’s first private capsule rooms
  • Party hostel with on-site bar ft. DJs, karaoke nights, beer pong & fancy-dress parties
  • Big rooftop terrace great for meeting other travellers

See availability and book here.

The Walrus Hostel

For a slice of classical English charm, without the hefty price tag of a luxury hotel, The Walrus Hostel is an excellent choice for a budget hostel in London.

The hostel features minimalist rooms with wooden floorboards and an eclectic mix of antique-style furnishings. There’s a vintage kitchen and great common space for hanging out or working.

A bit more dated and rough around the edges (or shabby-chic as they put it) than some of the larger, more modern hostels in London, The Walrus is a traditional backpackers hostel with a super homely and welcoming atmosphere.

Downstairs, you’ll find the quirky and colourful Walrus Pub. The pub offers affordable drinks deals, live music nights, pub crawls, and lots of special events throughout the year.

The Walrus is located in Lambeth, just a short 5-10min walk across the River Thames from the sites of Westminster such as Big Ben and the House of Parliament. The hostel is in an ideal location if you don’t have long in London and want to stay close to many iconic London attractions and landmarks.

The Walrus Hostel London at a glance:

  • Location: Lambeth
  • Dorm sizes: 4 to 22 beds
  • Private rooms: Yes
  • Female-only dorm rooms: Yes
  • Central location close to big London attractions of Westminster
  • Free breakfast
  • Charming downstairs British pub with discount for hostel guests
  • Friendly and social atmosphere but not a loud party hostel

See availability and book here.

Generator London Hostel

Generator Hostel London
Photo credit: Generator Hostel London

Located in the cosmopolitan student neighbourhood of Bloomsbury, Generator London is one of the coolest and most colourful hostels in London.

While it might not be much to look at from the outside (it’s located in an old police station), the large hostel is about as aesthetically pleasing as it comes on the inside.

The multicoloured walls, funky murals, quirky modern furnishings, neon lights and even the front-end of a double-decker bus all give the hostel a bright and exciting vibe.

There’s a huge common room for hanging out with new friends, plenty of little seating nooks for hiding away to get work done, an internet cafe, a cosy lounge that hosts movie nights, and a games room with pool tables.

The famous Generator Bar has special deals on meals and drinks every night, plus regular entertainment including karaoke and live DJs.

Generator London Hostel at a glance:

  • Location: Bloomsbury
  • Dorm sizes: 4-12
  • Private rooms: Yes
  • Female-only dorm rooms: Yes
  • Free walking tour for guests
  • Modern and colourful (i.e. extremely Instagrammable) decor
  • Large common area for socialising and working
  • Late-night bar serving food and drinks

See availability and book here.

YHA Hostels London

The YHA (Youth Hostels Association) England & Wales offers budget youth hostel accommodation across the UK, including four locations in London.

There are both shared dorms and various sized private rooms suitable for couples or families. Each hostel also has common areas with a well-equipped guest kitchen, an all-day cafe and bar, and computer zones.

Their London hostels are a great choice for those looking for a social but chilled-out vibe. Guests like to hang out and enjoy a drink and play board games together, but you won’t get the same loud late-night parties as other hostels.

All four of their London hostels are great, but my personal favourites are the London Central and Earls Court locations.

YHA London Central is located in Fitzrovia, just a five-minute walk from Oxford Street and down into exciting Soho. YHA Earls Court sits in a gorgeous Victorian building on an affluent residential street, just a short walk from Hyde Park and the museums of South Kensington.

2022: YHA hostels are currently only offering private rooms due to the pandemic.

YHA Hostels London at a glance:

  • Location: Fitzrovia, Earls Court, Kings Cross and St Pauls
  • Dorm sizes: tbc
  • Private rooms: Yes
  • Female-only dorm rooms: Yes
  • Social but relaxed and chilled-out atmosphere
  • Good choice for families or those travelling with kids

Book YHA London Central, Earls Court, Kings Cross St Pancras, or St Pauls.

Astor Museum Hostel

Photo credit: Astor Hostels

Astor Museum Hostel is an award-winning hostel located in a beautiful Georgian townhouse in Bloomsbury. With its modern dorm rooms, cosy lounge, and fully-equipped communal kitchen, Astor feels more like a home than a hostel, which makes it perfect for longer stays.

The hostel is extremely social, with regular communal dinners, movie nights, and fun parties and nights out in the city. Between the homely feel, welcoming staff and friendly guests, you’ll never want to leave.

The hostel is sat right on the doorstep of the British Museum and just a short walk from the sites of London’s West End, including Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden.

Astor also has hostels in Hyde Park, the upscale neighbourhood of Kensington, and Victoria.

Astor Museum Hostel at a glance:

  • Location: Bloomsbury
  • Dorm sizes: 4-16
  • Private rooms: Yes
  • Female-only dorm rooms: Yes
  • Welcomes guests over the age of 18 only
  • Hosts plenty of social events and parties
  • Offers discounts on long-term stays for nomads or those interested in co-living

See availability and book here.

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London City Calling

Emily is a born and raised London girl, starting life in the north of the capital then moving down to Fulham in the southwest. She has a master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from University College London and now works full-time running this blog and as a freelance travel writer, splitting her life between London and travelling the world as a digital nomad.

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